Weatherford City Council approved the fiscal year 2020 tax rate and budget during its meeting on Tuesday evening at city hall.

The adopted tax rate is 48.79 cents per $100 valuation, which includes 33.93 cents for General Fund operations and maintenance and 14.86 cents for debt service.

“The tax rate that we have discussed is a decrease in tax rate from last year but is above the effective rate,” Finance Director Jessica Doss said. “Therefore, we are required by state law to have council ratify the tax rate increase that is reflected in the budget that has been passed.”

The city will raise more total property taxes than last year by 6.2 percent or $742,970. Of the $742,970, more than $287,000 is to be raised from new property added to the tax roll this year.

According to Doss’s presentation during the meeting, General Fund revenues are about $38.1 million while expenditures are about $38.11 million.

Also during the meeting, council members approved the preliminary plat for 140-lot subdivision Ranches West off Old Dennis Road. The plat addresses the project’s first phase.

The project was previously discussed at the council when the zoning at the location was changed from agricultural to planned development in April, Project Manager Thomas Fletcher, of Kimley-Horn and Associates, said.

Cindy Byington, whose home will potentially back up to Ranches West’s east side, expressed concerns during the meeting about drainage. She asked the council to consider how the development of phase one in the project affects stormwater runoff in phase two and grading in phase one as it applies to screening and stormwater management in phase two.

“I do believe that we could be good neighbors, and we could build strong relationships if we address and resolve these existing problems properly,” Byington said.

In his presentation, Fletcher said the drainage issue on the eastern boundary would be resolved.

“The current issue is that there’s a big ridge on this property, and there is a very large drainage area that is draining to the east and currently going into the backyards and through the backyards to the right-of-way,” Fletcher said. “That distance is about 500-600 feet off the property line. When we come in and do this improvement, then there will only be roughly 30-40 feet, so we will be eliminating probably 90-95 percent of the runoff that’s currently going into those residents’ backyards, and that is included in the construction plans with phase one.”

Earlier in the meeting, council member Heidi Wilder addressed similar concerns to Byington’s and got Weatherford civil engineer Bill Smith to confirm that the city considers drainage issues in the project as a whole, not as phase one and phase two.

“When we review these types of plans, we review the grading plan, which kind of lays out how drainage will flow from one place to another,” Smith said. “We have the engineer avoid lot-to-lot drainage when possible. If it’s unfeasible, like if there’s two lots that if they didn’t go lot-to-lot, would require a 20-foot retaining wall, then we would potentially allow lot-to-lot drainage as long as it goes from one lot to one lot then to the street.”

Council also approved a zoning change from agricultural to C1 commercial with a conditional use permit for mini-warehouse/self-storage at 3193 W. Interstate 20. Council approved two items related to landscaping improvements on Main Street.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 8.  

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